4 Dance Audition Tips

Greetings everyone. I know I’ve been concentrating a lot on acting auditions the past few weeks, and I’ve received some requests to write about a few different areas of talent. I did some research (mainly asking my industry friends), and came up with some brief points that every dancer should consider when preparing for a dance audition. Let’s dive straight into it.

1. Dance Attire

This is kind of a no-brainer, and not just for dance auditions but any job…dress nicely. Yes, you are auditioning to be a dancer, but it’s still a job. This doesn’t only apply to your dancewear. Comb your hair, be clean, you have to look appropriate and self-respecting. Don’t wear your training dancewear to an audition. You can wear your warm-ups on the way to the audition if you know you’ll be warming up, which you should. However, be sure to wear dance attire during your dance audition that accents your features, flatters you and shows the casting director exactly why they should hire you without being too ostentatious. No gaudy jewelry or massive amounts of makeup.

Now, each dance audition is different when it comes to the appropriate dance attire, including footwear. Ballet, modern dance, jazz, tap and others all call for different dancewear. Traditional dancewear relevant to the type of dance you’re auditioning for is designed for that specific dance, and should be worn unless otherwise requested by the auditioners. It is easy to find out the standard dancewear for your audition by searching them on the Internet or asking a local store that sells them (ex: ballet; tights and leotard for women, tights and T-shirt for men).

2. What You Need To Bring

This goes back to some other articles that I’ve written for acting, “4 Tips for Great Actor Headshots” and “10 Acting Audition Tips” on Talent Trove, but definitely translates into dance auditions. Bring a resume and portfolio. This includes a one-page summary of your experience, accomplishments, acknowledgments and contact information, as well as some headshots and full body shots in various dancewears. Be sure to write you contact information on the back of your photographs. That might be the only thing a casting director or agent has when they decide they want you.

3. Stay Calm

Confidence is everything. Even if you know all of the dance moves, if you’re not confident when performing them, your audition will come off as awkward. Everyone is nervous, even the auditioners, but you have to get past that and do what you came to do. First, try to realize why you are nervous. Sure, it could be that you really want the part or this is a huge opportunity. However, those feelings generate more excitement than anxiety. Those jitters you can handle. It’s the audition itself that is the problem. You probably aren’t used to the process and it’s placing you outside of your comfort zone. A good way to get past this feeling or at least cope with it (you should always be a little on edge, keeps you sharp and on your toes), is to go on auditions that you’re not interested in so you can become familiar with the process and comfortable being there. It’s like job interviews that I’ve been on. The first few interviews you sweat, draw blanks, and mumble a lot. But after those initial embarrassments, you understand what kind of questions they will ask, how to behave and project yourself, and basically what to expect.

Also, try recording yourself and posting it on media sites like Talent Trove. There, you can ask for feedback from peers and see yourself as others would. Self-criticism is just as important as receiving it from others. If you can learn what is right and wrong, you will have a better understanding of performances.

4. What They Want

They want you to bring it. By “it” I mean your passion, professionalism and ability. Obvious and a little corny, I know, but it had to be said in case you lost sight of this in light of everything written here. With that being said let’s discuss what else they want from you. They want you to follow directions. If you’re supposed to perform some choreographed dance combo than you better do it. Don’t make up your own routine or daydream through the demonstration. There will be a time and place to show off your range, ability and creativity when it comes to your own dance ideas, but doing what they ask is a sign of discipline, open-mindedness and ability to work with others.

They also don’t want you to give up if you make a mistake. Like anything you do, it shows a lot of character when you fall and pick yourself up to try again. The less hesitation you show between falling and rising, the better. They want you to be courteous not only to them, but to the other dancers. This goes back to being professional. If no one wants to work with you, no one will. They usually have a certain type of dancer in mind when auditioning. You could be the best dancer in the room, but don’t take it too hard if they choose someone that better fits the look. The more graceful you are if you don’t get the part, the more they will want to pick you in the future.

They might want you to choose a routine. If so, pick something recent. Going back to my previous article, “10 Acting Audition Tips”, auditioners will see many dancers throughout the dance audition process. Many will choose classic or very well known dance routines. Try to pick something that they haven’t seen before, or at least not as often. Like you might hear in talent shows on television like American Idol (oh, did I say that?), it’s all about song choice, or in this case dance choice. Pick something that hits close to home with you. Something you can relate to, something that you can convey with sincere emotion and movement. If you can do that, the dance will be unique to you without ever having to change a step. That originality, genuineness and fervor is what they really want.

Source by Will Mckay


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